Another late goal condemned us to a third consecutive league defeat as Margate edged a competitive match, writes James Barrett-Sterling.
Match stats Carshalton Athletic 1 - 2 Margate Bostik Premier League Monday 1st October 2018 Attendance: 254 Last five results: DLLLL Current league position: 15th (with nine points)
Only one change from the side that started against Merstham as Peter Adeniyi replaced Jacob Mendy.
Our player/boss was straight into the action as his clipped pass on three minutes put Ricky Korboa away and he eventually found Mike Dixon, but our striker’s low effort was easily claimed by Henry Newcombe.
Margate responded and Frannie Collin, their top goalscorer, thrashed an effort over our crossbar from 20 yards.
And this high tempo back-and-forth continued for much of the match – Jordan Cheadle bent an eighth minute free kick just wide of Newcombe’s far post, while Collin wastefully put a free header on an angled cross over from eight yards.
Both sides were putting each other under pressure when out of possession, but there was a sense that the deadlock could be broken at any second.
Adeniyi took aim from 18 yards on 24 minutes and the ball was deflected away for a corner. The delivery was whipped into the visitors’ six-yard box and a stretching Danny Dudley was millimetres away from guiding the ball on target.
Two minutes later and Joe Taylor managed to get onto a Tom Mills pass that Dudley couldn’t quite clear. The striker spun towards our goal but his shot was deflected into the grateful arms of Billy Bishop.
Margate then enjoyed a long spell of pressure as we struggled to retain the ball as it got cleared, but our backline held firm and the next big chance fell our way on 38 minutes.
Adeniyi picked out a forward run by Bobby Price who managed to fizz a low cross across the visitors’ goal. Korboa stole in and guided the ball on target but Newcombe got down well to smother the shot.
A minute later and Jack Paxman, the Margate right back, made a burst forward and he eventually cut along the byline. Bishop chose to go met him and the defender managed to get the ball past him and into Collin. As the ball bounced up, he scuffed an effort towards the exposed net but the ball thankfully hit the near post.
HALF-TIME: 0 – 0
The second-half began with a similar high-energy as both teams traded attacks with little sign of respite.
And the breakthrough came on 52 minutes as Aziaya fouled Lee Prescott a yard outside our box. Collin stepped up and angled a shot across goal which Bishop got a hand to, but the ball smacked the inside of the far post and went in.
But, rather than drop their heads, our boys continued to play their part and kept probing forwards. Korboa showed Paxman a clean pair of heels on 57 minutes before cutting into the box and teeing up Tommy Bradford, but his shot from 18 yards whistled narrowly over the crossbar.
But our diminutive forward was at the heart of the move that led to us getting back onto level terms – Margate’s captain Liam Friend could only put a clearance up inside his own box and Bradford was bundled to the floor by the close attentions of Paxman and Chris Barnard.
The referee pointed to the spot and Cheadle confidently stepped up to restore parity with his second goal of the season.
The game got a little scrappy after that, with Prescott, Taylor and Price all picking up yellow cards as the action continued - Bradford drew another foul on 71 minutes, this time just outside Margate’s area, but Cheadle’s effort went through the wall and just wide.
Raheem Sterling-Parker and Jacob Mendy were both thrown on during the final quarter as we looked to freshen up the forward line, but it was Collin that had the next big opportunity of the game.
A long throw into our box tempted Bishop to come, but he missed his punch and the ball was nodded into the path of Collin who volleyed over from about 10 yards.
We didn’t heed that warning however as, on 84 minutes, a long ball wasn’t dealt with on the edge of our box and Taylor took control before placing a low shot past Bishop.
We couldn’t pull ourselves level again and, to compound a disappointing night, Sterling-Parker was stretched off in added time after injuring himself while trying to make a darting forward run.
Match highlights (with commentary) and post-match interviews coming via robins.tv
We travel to Harlow Town on Saturday 13th October, then visit Haringey Borough on Monday 15th October.
Carshalton Athletic: Bishop; Price (c), Dudley, Morath-Gibbs, Cheadle; Adeniyi (Mendy - 80), Aziaya, Bradford; Korboa, Dixon (Sterling-Parker - 69, dos Santos - 90)
Unused subs: Hamilton-Downes, Pappoe
Goal: Cheadle (61 pen)
Booked: Price, Aziaya
Margate: Newcombe, Paxman, Mills, Robins, Friend (c), Swift, Brown (Flishez - 59), Prescott, Taylor, Collin, Barnard
Unused subs: Kallmeier, Okoh, Sollis, Wilson
Goals: Collin (52), Taylor (84)
Booked: Prescott, Taylor
Our 'Man of the Match': Jordan Cheadle